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Natural dyeing

Michel Garcia gave a 3-day workshop on natural dyeing. He has a background in botany and chemistry and an intense knowledge of (natural) colourants. We learned how to make indigo vats, how to use mordants for printing and how to combine these techniques. The best results we would get by printing mordents, discharge and resist, then finishing the work in an indigo vat and a dye bath. He also explained the chemical background of these procedures.

Topics:
Preparing an organic indigo vat with sustainable methods and printing clay resists on cotton for white patterns on a blue background.
Preparing efficient mordents for cellulosic fibers and doing charts in order to explore the possibilities with various natural dyestuffs.
Printing on cotton with wooden carved blocks and silkscreen for polychromatic effects from natural dyes.

Natural dying explanation
Natural dying indigo vat

This example is a combination of techniques: start with the mordant dye, then add the resist paste, put it into an indigo vat and at last the dye bath.

Combination of techniques
Combination of techniques with indigo

8 Mordents printed on the same piece of fabric in order to evaluate the shade that can be obtained from a dyestuff. Mordents are made of Aluminum acetate, Titanium salt, Ferrous or mixed versions of these. From left to right you see weld, a combination of lokwood and gallnut and cochineal used as dyestuff. What we discovered was that Ferrous gives unsaturated shades, Aluminium brighter shades and with Titanium shades get more yellow/golden.

Mordant color charts

Also we did some testing with various indigo vats in order to get different shades of indigo within our samples.

Natural dying with indigo